Our resident tipster has his eye on a couple of runners this afternoon, including a 10/1 shot at Leicester.
Finding a horse who has been shown leniency by the handicapper having lost its way can often throw up a big-priced winner and a good case in point is William Muir’s FLECKERL, who has a better chance of landing this afternoon’s 1m handicap at Leicester (3.25pm) than his form figures of 44769 suggest.
The five-year-old won his first two starts on the all-weather in the 2013 season and has been battling the handicapper since, being rated as high as 77 at one point. He finished third at Bath off that mark at this time last year, one of several creditable efforts in defeat that summer, but hasn’t finished better than fourth in six subsequent runs, including when sent off favourite at Brighton and Lingfield earlier this season.
His latest effort – a moderate ninth of 11 back at Lingfield 14 days ago – didn’t promise an immediate return to form, but to be fair he didn’t get the best of starts and was hampered soon after, so the run is best ignored. The handicapper has dropped him a further 2lb since and he lines up today off just 66, a career low, and it might be significant that connections had him entered up in a better race at Ascot last week, instead deciding to wait for this.
A dual winner over the trip and proven on the forecast ‘good to firm’, everything is in place for a big run and, at the current 10/1, he looks to have slipped under the bookies’ radar for a race that won’t take much winning.
Around 15 minutes later, Mark Johnston’s POLARISATION will almost certainly go off favourite for the 1m5f handicap at Hamilton (due off 3.45pm) and, while we’re being asked to take just 7/4, he still looks something to bet on. The three-year-old showed the benefit of stepping up to this sort of trip at Haydock on soft ground two starts back, a career-best effort, and he was far from disgraced when sixth in a better contest at Ascot run over two furlongs less last time out.
Back up in trip and dropped in grade for this afternoon’s race, he must take all the beating and especially as gets a handy weight-for-age allowance from his five rivals. Johnston is particularly adept at finding winning opportunities for his three-year-old stayers and they are invariably tough customers who can more than hold their own against older, more experienced horses. The selection appears to be in that mould and, with no doubts about him handling the prevailing cut in the ground, he’s a strong fancy to add to Johnston’s record of three wins in this race in the last six renewals.